Former First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu has given insight into how she became born again while in the United States of America in a recent interview on Television Continental monitored by Church Times.
Mrs. Tinubu clocked 60 on September 21 and was well celebrated by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the political class. A special thanksgiving service was held in her honour at the national headquarters of the church at Ebute Meta, Lagos.
In the interview, she said her encounter with God happened while she was in the US recalling that she went to the US as an Anglican but came out of the country as a Pentecostal.
She said the trauma of being far away from her husband who was on self-exile due to the political impasse in Nigeria led her to attend many churches in the US.
It was in the process somebody introduced Christ to her and it dawned on her that she needed to be saved.
She said the friend who introduced her to Jesus is now late declaring however that it was the friend who brought her to Jesus and taught her the rudiments of faith.
Responding to a question on why she married a Muslim being a Christian, she said, “I was born an Anglican. But then, in those days, it did not really matter to us marrying a Muslim.
“But I remember when my husband sought my hand in marriage, my father asked him if he was a Muslim and when he got to know he was a Muslim, he asked if he would not stop me from going to Church. He promised my father that he would not. And he has kept his word. When it comes to faith, my husband is a very liberal person.”
Mrs. Tinubu who is a pastor in the RCCG, however, reiterated that it was in the US she had a personal salvation experience.
She said while in the US, she was attending a Church called Evangel Temple now Evangel Cathedral which is close to her house in Maryland, US.
There in the US, she went through many Bible lessons and teachings which strengthened her faith.
When she came back to Nigeria, she did not join any church immediately. She said she would have joined Mountain of Fire and Miracles but for her husband who had already been a friend of the General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
While in the State House as the first lady, she did not join any church, but then, she said there was a chapel in their house where she could pray and study the word of God. It was after she left government that she joined the RCCG.
She was always going to the Holy Ghost camp and from there, wife of the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Folu Adeboye took interest in her.
According to her, it was Pastor Mrs. Adeboye who did baptism for her and also made sure she went through the School of Disciples of the Ministry and then also organized an executive Bible school for her. She has since been ordained a deaconess and then Assistant Pastor.
The former first lady who talked generously about her faith said God has over the years taught her submission and contentment.
She said, “I did not get to know my life until I met Christ. I started learning God’s way about submission through Bible study. God is the epitome of love. When you love you give to the one you love not thinking that the person has to give to you. It is the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts.
“God’s love has perfected me to a place of not having wants. I only have needs. And God only supplies my needs. Contentment has to be learnt. I have learnt to be contented.”
On criticisms that have trailed her path being in the peculiar circumstance of being married to a Muslim and yet a pastor in the RCCG, She said, “Only God is perfect. Perfection can only come from experience.
“Everyone is welcome to Church. Those who judge are religious people. Even Christ said, come to me all those who labour and are heavy laden. The church is a spiritual hospital. Everyone who walks into the church needs something from God.
“The first time I went to Turkey and I thought I was churchy enough. I saw a pastor tell me I looked like a Turkish person, that I dressed like a Muslim. “But it was a convenient way of tying my headgear. My husband respects my faith and I respect his own faith too. There is no conflict there.
“There was no religion when God came to Adam. Faith is very complex. I never had any problem. I put on a hijab during my husband’s event as a sign of respect for him. He did not impose his faith on our children. I raised my children as Christians though they bear Muslim names.”
She recalled that the trauma she went through while in self-exile with her husband for five years made her have amnesia (memory loss) when she came back to Nigeria.
“That is why I don’t attend functions. I could not recollect the people I knew back then again. It was traumatic for me. I was stuck with two children while in the US.
“I saw human beings at their very core of being mean. I had young children; my husband could not come to see us for about 18 months. He later could travel to see us once every six months. My youngest daughter was two and a half years then. It was really traumatic.”